The General Directorate of Archives reveals an interesting fact, the author of the first sculpture dedicated to the National Hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu. It bears the signature of Murat Toptan.
The well-known artist of the National Renaissance, Murat Toptani, who fused his art between Tirana and Calabria, in the c. XIX worked for the first time the bust of Skanderbeg. The masterpiece carefully crafted in 1898 and reworked in 1917 presented the portrait of Skanderbeg in sculpture, as the most excellent form to perpetuate the image of the hero.
Toptan's monumental work would be preserved in bronze by the irreplaceable master Odhise Paskali.
Today, the bust is kept in the Art Gallery, where Murat Toptan's other work, the caricature "The Promises of England", can also be found in watercolor.
Toptani was a sculptor, painter, poet, publicist and one of the activists of the National Renaissance. In 1884, he continued his studies at the "Sultanie" school (Gallata Saraj), where he received a culture that was later reflected in his diverse artistic activity. At the end of school he mastered several foreign languages: French, Ottoman, Arabic and Persian. He developed his activity mainly in Tirana and in Albanian societies abroad (Istanbul, Naples, Bucharest, etc.). He kept in close contact with the Frashëri brothers as he was also Naim's son-in-law. Murat Toptani was a delegate of Tirana in the Assembly of Vlora and a signatory of the Act of Independence.
He also wrote many poems and journalistic articles, where part of his poems were collected in the book "Poems of Murat Toptan", published in Tirana in 1924.